EP1321025B1 - Harvester machine with crop detection device - Google Patents

Harvester machine with crop detection device Download PDF

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Publication number
EP1321025B1
EP1321025B1 EP20020102728 EP02102728A EP1321025B1 EP 1321025 B1 EP1321025 B1 EP 1321025B1 EP 20020102728 EP20020102728 EP 20020102728 EP 02102728 A EP02102728 A EP 02102728A EP 1321025 B1 EP1321025 B1 EP 1321025B1
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EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
crop
detection device
harvester
roller
characterised
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Active
Application number
EP20020102728
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
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EP1321025A1 (en
Inventor
Bruce Alan Coers
Daniel James Burke
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Deere and Co
Original Assignee
Deere and Co
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US10/021,581 priority Critical patent/US6834484B2/en
Priority to US21581 priority
Application filed by Deere and Co filed Critical Deere and Co
Publication of EP1321025A1 publication Critical patent/EP1321025A1/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of EP1321025B1 publication Critical patent/EP1321025B1/en
Active legal-status Critical Current
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01DHARVESTING; MOWING
    • A01D41/00Combines, i.e. harvesters or mowers combined with threshing devices
    • A01D41/12Details of combines
    • A01D41/127Control or measuring arrangements specially adapted for combines

Description

  • The invention relates to a harvesting machine according to the preamble of claim 1.
  • Numerous functions of modern agricultural combines are currently controlled automatically. For example, some combines include inverters that sense the amount of material that enters the combine and provide signals to a controller to adjust the speed of the combine in response to changes in the material to maintain a substantially constant throughput. Such a device is described in EP 1 243 173 A. The throughput can be changed if a crop quality variable, such as grain loss or grain damage, deviates from a desired quality target range over an extended period of time. In another patent of the present applicant (EP 1 281 310 A), a conventional speed controller controls the harvester speed as a function of the output of one or more sensors including a flow rate sensor located downstream of the header. However, when the header is lowered, the speed of the combine will soon be lowered to avoid a sudden increase in the amount of material downstream of the inlet of the elevator.
  • A problem with these and similar types of automatic controllers of harvesters is the correct start of operation of the automatic controller. For example, combine harvesters with throughput control may enter too much crop into the machine and cause unstable operation if the automatic control is initiated too late. If the initiation is too early, both productivity and operational stability may be compromised. A simple and reliable way to initiate automatic operation to avoid throughput variations and instability would be desirable.
  • DE 1 407 720 A describes a combine harvester with a lower feederhouse roll, which is raised by incoming crop and is connected to a valve, the one Hydraulic cylinder controls, which in turn adjusts the position of the propulsion speed of the combine predetermining variator, so as to obtain an approximately constant throughput of the combine harvester.
  • The object underlying the invention is seen to provide an improved system for operating an automatic control of an agricultural harvesting machine.
  • This object is achieved by the teaching of claim 1, wherein in the other claims features are listed, which further develop the solution in an advantageous manner.
  • A harvester is equipped with a crop processor and automatic controller that responds to a crop processing variable, such as throughput and / or crop loss, and is configured to automatically adjust work parameters of the harvester. The controller receives information about the crop processing variable through sensors. It can also be used to signal other environmental parameters, such as floor tilt. In order to provide an initial signal for automatic control, a detection device is provided in a conveyor located between the crop gathering device and the inlet of the crop processing device. The conveyor can be active, that is equipped with a driven Gutförderer, or passive; then the detection device senses a conveyor channel, is conveyed through the crop by means of upstream and / or downstream conveyor. In this way, the entry of crop into the conveyor is detected and the controller provided a start signal. The controller responds to the start signal and then begins the automatic control, for example, the setting of the propulsion speed or the position control of the header. Between the start signal and the beginning of the automatic control, a certain Delay are, for example, to compensate for the time that the goods still needed to reach the Gutbearbeitungseinrichtung. However, as long as the detection device does not detect any crop, the controller preferably resorts to predetermined setting values for the working parameters.
  • The detection device comprises at least one switch, for. B. a proximity switch, which responds to the movement of a roller or other element, for example a spring-biased, projecting into the conveyor sensor, which (s) is moved by entering the conveyor Gut. As the roller moves up (or another direction) as the crop enters, the state of the switch changes. The controller detects the change in state as an indication that crop to be processed soon will enter the crop processor and commences in response to the automatic control hint. An unnecessary slowing of the harvester and reduced productivity that would otherwise occur can be avoided if there is little or no crop in the conveyor. The beginning of the automatic control process is optimized so that crop losses and control instabilities are reduced or avoided.
  • The detection device acts, as stated above, with a roller in a conveyor together, for example, the height-adjustable lower roller of a feederhouse. Such rollers are equipped to adapt to the Gutart with adjustable lower stops. It is intended to attach the detection device to such a stop. As a result, the detection device is adjusted with the stop and it can detect the movement of the roller from its rest position without problems. Such a detection device comprises, for example, a proximity switch (eg reed switch) and a Permanent or electric magnets. In this case, the magnet can be attached to the roller, while the proximity switch is arranged on the stop. But also a reversed arrangement (magnet on the stop, proximity switch on the roller) is possible.
  • In the drawings, an embodiment of the invention described in more detail below is shown. It shows:
  • Fig. 1
    a side view of a harvester,
    Fig. 2
    1 is a diagram of a throughput control system for the harvesting machine of FIG. 1;
    Fig. 3
    1 is a side perspective view of a portion of the feederhouse of the harvesting machine of FIG. 1 showing an adjustable roll stopper with a switch that allows for automatic control operation;
    Fig. 4
    3 is an enlarged view of a portion of the feederhouse of FIG. 3 showing the switch mounted on the stopper;
    Fig. 5
    a perspective roller-side view of the stop and the switch of Figure 3, and
    Fig. 6
    a perspective view of the stopper and the switch of Figure 5, seen from the opposite or outwardly facing side of the switch.
  • Referring to Figure 1, there is shown an agricultural harvester in the form of a combine 10 having a supporting structure or frame 12 in engagement with the ground standing wheels 14 which protrude from the supporting structure. Although the combine harvester 10 is illustrated with wheels, it could also be provided with two or four ground engaging crawlers. A cutter 16 is used to harvest crop material and to feed it to a feeder 18. The feederhouse 18 includes a conveyor 19 which is passed around a front roller 19d to feed the harvested crop to a beater 20. The baffle 20 feeds the product upwardly through an inlet transition section 22 and a rotatable threshing and separating assembly 24. Although the illustrated threshing and separating assembly 24 is disposed axially in the combine 10, it could be disposed in other orientations relative to the longitudinal axis of the combine 10. Although the present invention is described in terms of a threshing and separating assembly 24 having a rotor, it could also be used on a forage harvester, baler or combine 10 having a conventional transverse threshing drum cooperating with a concave.
  • The rotatable threshing and separating assembly 24 threshes and separates the harvested crop. The grain and chaff fall through grates at the bottom of the assembly 24 into a cleaning system 26. The cleaning system 26 removes the chaff and feeds the clean grain to a clean grain elevator (not shown). The clean grain elevator deposits the grain in a grain tank 28. The clean grain in the grain tank 28 may be unloaded by a discharge auger 30 onto a truck or trailer.
  • Broken straw removed from the grain is supplied from the threshing and separating assembly 24 through an outlet 32 to an ejection drum 34. The ejection drum 34 ejects the straw again at the back of the combine 10. It should be noted that the ejection drum 34 could also feed the grain freed directly to a straw chopper. The operation of the combine 10 is controlled from an operator's cab 35.
  • The rotatable threshing and separating assembly 24 includes a cylindrical rotor housing 36 and a rotatable rotor 37 disposed in the rotor housing 36. The front portion of the rotor 37 and the rotor housing 36 define a loading section 38. Downstream of the loading section 38 are a threshing section 39, a separating section 40 and an outlet portion 41. The rotor 37 is provided in the feed section 38 with a conical rotor drum having helical feed elements for engaging with the material received from the guide drum 20 and the inlet transition portion 22. Immediately downstream of the loading section 38 is the threshing section 39. In the threshing section 39, the rotor 37 has a cylindrical rotor drum provided with a number of threshing elements for threshing the crop obtained from the loading section 38. Downstream of the threshing section 39 is the separating section 40, in which the grain trapped in the threshed crop is released and falls through a bottom-side grate in the rotor housing 36 into the cleaning system 28. The separating section 40 merges with the outlet section 41, in which the material different from the grain is ejected from the crop processing device 24.
  • The front wheels 14 of the combine harvester 10 are driven by a hydrostatic motor 49 which is connected to a hydrostatic transmission 50 (FIG. 2). The motor 49 is driven in a conventional manner by a motor-driven hydrostatic pump 51. The pump 51 is equipped with adjustable swashplates that control the output speed and direction of rotation of the transmission 50. Electromagnetic control valves control the positions of the swash plates. The hydrostatic transmission 50 drives a manual transmission 52, and two driving shafts 54 extend outwardly from the manual transmission 52 and drive end drives 56 of the front wheels 14. The steerable rear wheels 14 may also be driven by wheel motors directly attached to the wheels. The speed of the wheel motors can be controlled by the flow rate control system described below.
  • An adjustable variable torque drive 60 and sensor drives the rotor 37. The same internal combustion engine, which also drives the hydrostatic transmission 50, also drives the variable displacement drive 60. The variable displacement drive 60 includes a variable diameter driving pulley 62 and a variable diameter driven pulley 63. A belt 64 extends between the driving pulley 62 and the driven pulley 63 to transmit rotational power to the rotor 37. A hydraulic cylinder 66 controls the diameter of the driving pulley 62 and the driven pulley is spring biased to maintain the tension of the belt 64. The hydraulic cylinder 66 is coupled to the driving pulley 62 and moves the end plates 68 of the pulley 62 inwardly and outwardly, respectively, to control the effective diameter of the pulley 62 against the belt 64. By changing the effective diameter of the pulley 62, the effective speed of the driven pulley 63 is changed. Through a hydraulic line 70 hydraulic fluid under pressure is supplied from a valve assembly 72 to the hydraulic cylinder 66. The rotor 37 is driven by the variable diameter pulleys 62, 63 at a constant, selected rotor speed. The torque transmitted by the belt 64 and the pulleys 62, 63 varies with the throughput.
  • An electronic controller 80 controls the harvesting speed of the combine 10 by controlling the solenoid-operated control valves of the hydrostatic pump 51 via the line 82 to adjust the position of the swash plates in the pump 51. The controller 80 receives, via line 84, a current hydraulic pressure signal or the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator from a hydraulic pressure sensor 86 Pressure of the actuator of the variable rotor drive is a function of the feed rate, and the feed rate tends to be substantially constant at constant pressure of the actuator of the variable rotor drive. Thus, by controlling the harvesting rate to maintain a predetermined pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator, the flow rate remains substantially constant. The hydraulic pressure sensor 86 detects the hydraulic pressure of the hydraulic cylinder 66, which adjusts the variable drive 60 with sensors. The hydraulic pressure in the sensor variable displacement drive 60 is related to throughput, which in turn affects crop quality variables such as grain loss, grain damage, and extraneous matter in the grain.
  • The controller 80 receives via a line 88 from an operator control 90 in the booth 35 or other input device a signal input about a desired crop quality level, such as an acceptable grain loss rate. A crop quality converter 91, shown in Figure 1 as a grain loss sensor located near the outlet 32, provides the controller 80 with harvest quality signals. A harvester incline sensor or translator 92 is supported at a suitable location on the frame 12 (FIG. 1) and provides the controller 80 with signals indicative of the amount that the harvester is approaching from a substantially planar or horizontal position shown in FIG shown tilted out. The converter 92 preferably provides the controller 80 with information about the lateral inclination angle and the inclination angle in the direction of travel. As shown in FIG. 2, the converter is integrated directly into the board of the controller 80 in order to avoid the expense of an external sensor, a separate housing and a wiring.
  • To provide a start signal for automatic control, a detector 100 is provided to signal the presence of crop between the cutter 16 and the input of the threshing and separating assembly 24 arranged. The detection device 100 responds to crop in the feederhouse 18 and provides the controller 80 with a start signal. The controller 80 responds to the start signal to begin automatic control. As shown, the detector 100 includes proximity switches that respond to the movement of the roller 19d, which results in crop entering the elevator 18. As the roller 19d moves up with the crop entrance, the switch of the detector 100 changes state. The controller 80 recognizes the change in conditions as an indication that crop to be processed will soon enter the assembly 24.
  • As shown in the drawing, the crop presence detection device 100 is attached to a portion of a roll adjustment structure, indicated generally at 110. The roller 19d is supported at its ends from the sides of the feederhouse 18 by adjustable length link arms 112 having tensioning anchors for adjusting the tension of the conveyor chain 10c of the feederhouse 18. The conveyor chain 19c is passed around the roller 19d and moves crop material along the bottom of the feederhouse 18 rearwardly and upwardly to the guide drum 20. The connecting arms 112 allow the roller 19d to move vertically upon entry of crop. The ideal initial gap between the roller 19d and the bottom of the feederhouse 18 varies with different types of goods. For example, the optimum gap will be smaller for small grains than for piston corn, and the roll adjustment structure 110 provides various lower limit stops.
  • The roll adjustment structure 110 includes a cam 114 that is rotatably supported by a bracket 116 that is bolted to the side wall of the feederhouse 18. The cam 114 includes a radially outermost elevation 116 and a second elevation 118, which is offset from the elevation 116 radially inwardly and 90 °. The Camber 116 extends upwardly to contact the underside of link arm 112 when structure 110 is set to piston corn. The elevation 118 extends upwardly to provide a lower limit stop when the structure 110 is set to crop other than the piston corn. The cam 114 includes an axially extending bearing portion 120 which is rotatably received within an aperture of the bracket 116. A non-circular portion 122 extends axially outwardly from the bearing portion 120 and receives an adjustment handle 124 having a mating opening. A hollow threaded portion 126 extends axially outwardly from portion 122, and a nut and washer assembly 128 is threaded onto portion 126 against handle 124 to support structure 110 on support 116. The angular position of the handle 124 corresponds to the angular position of the radially outermost elevation 116. To adjust the lower limit stop of the roller 19d, the handle 124 between the uppermost position shown in Figures 3 and 4, in which the elevation 116, the connecting arm 112th touched and a lowermost position (ninety degrees clockwise from the position shown in Figures 3 and 4) rotated, in which the elevation 118 touches the connecting arm 112. To secure the handle 124 in the selected lower stop position, a quick-attach pin 132 is positioned in an opening in the handle 124 and in a corresponding slot in the bracket 116.
  • The cam 114, which is preferably made of stainless steel, includes two bores 136 and 138 extending from a central cavity 140 substantially radially to the respective elevations 116 and 118. Magnetically controlled reed switches 141 and 142 are supported within bores 136 and 138 and include electrical wires 144 extending therethrough that extend axially through the hollow portion of the cam 114 and are connected to an input of the controller 80. An elongated magnet 146 is at the lower, inner Edge of the connecting arm 112 is supported to operate the reed switch 141 or 142 when the connecting arm 112 is in the stop position and resting on the elevations 116 and 118, respectively. The magnet 146 extends a sufficient length of the link arm 112 to ensure operation of the reed switches 141, 142 over the entire adjustment range of the link arm 112.
  • An operator console 150 located in the operator cab 35 includes conventional operator input devices including a hydroshift lever 152 for manually controlling the speed range and output speed of the hydrostatic transmission 50. An operator interface device 154 in the operator cab 35 facilitates input of information into a processor system 80p to provide automatic speed control and multiple control provide other control functions to the combine 10. Outputs from various onboard sensors 157 and microcontrollers 158 are provided by the operator interface device 154. The operator may enter various types of information via the input lines 88 and 154a, including the type of crop, the location, the yield, the acceptable grain loss, damage, extraneous content, and the like.
  • For operation of the combine 10, the controller 80 is provided with a desired crop quality variable, such as loss rate, using the operator input device 90. Based on initial default entries or learned relationships, the controller 80 calculates an initial target pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator corresponding to the setting of the operator input device 90. If automatic control is desired, the operator selects the automatic control function through a switch in the operator console 150. When the cutter 16 or other harvesting equipment picks up crop on combine harvester 10 and moves it into the feederhouse 18, the roller 19d lifts off the cam 114 and changes the state of the reed switches 141 and 142, respectively, and provides the controller 80 with an initial signal to start the automatic operation.
  • The controller 80 receives the current pressure signal from the hydraulic pressure converter 86 and a current loss rate signal or other harvest quality signal from the crop quality converter 91 and regulates the forward speed of the combine 10 such that the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator adjusts to the initial target level. The controller 80 queries the crop quality converter 91 and determines if the loss rate for the initial target pressure of the actuator is at the desired level while the combine is operating in flat conditions. If the loss rate is greater for an extended period of time than determined by the controller 80 for the initial target pressure of the actuator, the target pressure of the actuator is gradually reduced such that the propulsion speed of the combine is reduced until the rate of increase desired loss rate is reached, and a new target value of the pressure of the actuator is set. If the loss rate over an extended period of time is less than the inputted rate, the target pressure of the actuator is gradually increased by increasing the propulsion speed of the combine until the desired loss rate is achieved. The controller 80 continuously updates the target pressure of the in-plane actuator during harvesting to compensate for changing conditions.
  • As the combine 10 tilts from the leveled position and the controller 80 receives a grade signal from the grade sensor 92, the controller 80 will slow down the combine 10 to reduce throughput thereby avoiding an increase in the harvest quality variable. By monitoring the signal from the device 100, the deceleration of the combine harvester 10 may be delayed or delayed, if the signal indicates that there is little or no crop in the feederhouse 18 is available.
  • The processor 80p stores or calculates information about the expected quality variables as a function of tilt angles and throughput. For a given tilt angle, therefore, the target value of the pressure of the actuator may be changed to change the combine speed so that the quality variable will remain substantially constant. In one embodiment of the invention, processor 80p learns the relationship between grade, crop quality, and throughput, and continually updates the stored information so that throughput adjustments can be made quickly and accurately, even with changing crop and harvest conditions.
  • The flow rate is measured as a function of the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator (converter 86) and remains nearly constant at constant pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator. During operation of the combine harvester, the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator is continuously monitored. If the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator deviates from the desired range, the speed of the combine 10 is increased or decreased depending on whether the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator is below or above the target level. In addition, the pitch translator 92 is interrogated to determine if the combine is tilting out of a flat position. When an inclination of the combine harvester 10 is detected, the processor 80p determines a relationship between the losses, the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator and the inclination to determine a correlation equation or a map of the relationships between the loss and the pressure of the actuator in the memory of the variable rotor drive as a function of the inclination store. If an inclination of the machine is detected and an increased loss (or other deterioration of crop quality) is detected, the processor 80p modifies the target value of the pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator.
  • This process allows the controller 80 to adjust the speed until the processor 80p identifies the proper relationship between inclination, loss, and pressure of the variable rotor drive actuator and can maintain a constant loss by instantaneously changing the target value according to the learned relationship ,
  • Continuously monitoring the signal from the detector 100 can avoid unnecessary engine decelerations 10 and reduced productivity that would otherwise occur when the processor 80p detects certain conditions when there is little or no crop on the roller 19d of the elevator 18 is. The beginning of the automatic control can be optimized by monitoring the signal from the reed switches 141 and 142 so that crop losses and control instabilities are reduced or avoided.

Claims (6)

  1. Harvester which is set up to move across a field with crop to be harvested and is equipped with a crop processing device (24), to which crop can be supplied by a conveying device (19), wherein:
    the harvester is equipped with an automatic control unit (80) which is connected to a detection device (100) for detecting crop in the conveying device (19) and reacts to a crop processing variable,
    the control unit (80) begins with automatic control of the harvester as soon as the detection device (100) detects the presence of crop,
    the conveying device (19) has a housing in which a roller (19d) is disposed movably and moves through crop entering the housing,
    the detection device (100) detects the movement of the roller (19d),
    a roller adjustment structure (110) is present for adjusting the roller (19d) relative to the housing,
    the detection device (100) is supported by the roller adjustment structure (110), characterised in that the roller adjustment structure (110) comprises a rotatable cam (114), and in that the detection device (100) comprises an approach switch supported by the cam (114).
  2. Harvester according to claim 1, characterised in that a movable connection arm (112) supports the roller (19d), and in that a magnet (146) which is set up to switch the approach switch is mounted on the connection arm (112).
  3. Harvester according to claim 2, characterised in that the cam (114) comprises a stop member for the movable connection arm (112).
  4. Harvester according to one of the claims 1 to 3, characterised in that the cam (114) is connected to a variable handle (124) in order to rotate the cam (114) and to change the position of the stop member.
  5. Harvester according to one of the claims 1 to 4, characterised in that the control unit (80) can be operated to change the speed of advance of the harvester in order to control the throughput, and in that it assumes control of the speed of advance when the detection device (100) indicates the entry of crop into the conveying device (19).
  6. Harvester according to one of the claims 1 to 5, characterised in that the detection device (100) is disposed in such a manner that it already detects the entry of crop into the conveying device (19) and supplies a corresponding signal to the control unit (80) before the crop enters the crop processing device (24).
EP20020102728 2001-12-18 2002-12-11 Harvester machine with crop detection device Active EP1321025B1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/021,581 US6834484B2 (en) 2001-12-18 2001-12-18 Automatic control initiation for a harvester
US21581 2001-12-18

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP1321025A1 EP1321025A1 (en) 2003-06-25
EP1321025B1 true EP1321025B1 (en) 2007-02-14

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP20020102728 Active EP1321025B1 (en) 2001-12-18 2002-12-11 Harvester machine with crop detection device

Country Status (8)

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US (1) US6834484B2 (en)
EP (1) EP1321025B1 (en)
AR (1) AR037872A1 (en)
AU (1) AU2002309050B2 (en)
BR (1) BR0205253B1 (en)
CA (1) CA2399234C (en)
DE (1) DE50209468D1 (en)
DK (1) DK1321025T3 (en)

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Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
EP1321025A1 (en) 2003-06-25
BR0205253A (en) 2004-07-20
DK1321025T3 (en) 2007-06-11
CA2399234C (en) 2007-01-09
AR037872A1 (en) 2004-12-09
AU2002309050B2 (en) 2008-07-31
US20030110748A1 (en) 2003-06-19
US6834484B2 (en) 2004-12-28
DE50209468D1 (en) 2007-03-29
CA2399234A1 (en) 2003-06-18
BR0205253B1 (en) 2009-05-05

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